Friday, January 19, 2007

Time, and places in the heart

During some discussions with friends, the subject of time- and our perception of it- came up this week.

We often discuss time as though there isn't enough of it. Time, however, is essentially unlimited. It's our experience of time that is contained within limits. And that experience is coarsely abbreviated by our inattention.

We fail to pay attention, and time flies by like the wind. Because we are asleep time seems to evaporate. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it?

The evaporation of time frequently leads to a sense of pressure, and eventually desperation. There isn't enough time in the day to get things done. Whatever we're doing seems to be taking too long and we get frustrated. We're all in a hurry to drive fast and get somewhere else. While we're there we're worried about what the next place is we have to get to. In our negativity we squander our experience of time like a rich man who feels he can afford to be careless about small change.

We constantly forget that this wealth has a limit; it is framed and constrained by the reciprocal debts of birth and death.

When we shrink wrap time with impatience, bad attitudes and inattention, we do it an injustice. In fact, every human being crosses vast landscapes of time within a single day. We just don't see it that way.

Our impressions of life need to sink deeper into the body. This slows time down. In fact I suspect that if impressions fall into us to the deepest possible point, we attain a clarification of the mind-essence that expresses, conveys, and contains the eternal.

Buddha Dharma, Christ consciousness.

No time. Just life.

So how can we change our perception of this thing called time?

Only by forming a clearer picture of our inner state can this begin to change. Self-observation does not consist solely of observing the external, psychological manifestations of being-our thoughts, words, and actions. It consists above all of observing the organism. All thoughts, words, and actions arise from the organism, so when we begin to deepen our inner study and turn to observation of the inner state- the inner conditions of the organism, we go to the root of our manifestation.

Beware. People engaged in inner work tend to get hung up on the psychology of life and chase it down. It offers endless opportunities for analysis. This can keep anyone busy for a lifetime, and it does.

Study of the organism, on the other hand, does not yield revelations definable in words. It begins with attention to the breath, and to the careful preparation of the body to receive the breath. Gurdjieff, you may recall, told Ouspensky that time is the breath of the universe.

It's the breath of our inner universe as well.

If we work in this way we can discover what it means to prepare a place in our heart for the Lord. That is a strictly physical work that must be discovered and labored on in places too darkly sacred for intellect to penetrate. It belongs to minds we do not yet know, and sensations we have not yet had.

In preparing to receive our lives in this manner, we may drink a moment of this precious thing called time more deeply.

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